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Culture Productivity & Work Quotes

Why we make lists

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“We like lists because we don’t want to die.”

Umberto Eco

When in doubt, list it out.


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Life & Philosophy Productivity & Work

Take Time To Make Time

I keep Evernote sheets for my daily work and personal tasks. Some people update their to-do’s daily, but I update them throughout the day since tasks accumulate and priorities shift. I only remember things I take the time to write down.

Naturally, with perpetually updated lists there’s always something to do! But every once in a while though I’ll ignore my to-do lists entirely. This typically happens in peak busy periods when everything appears to be a priority, and I’m just reacting instead of planning.  I also ignore my lists when I’m simply burnt out.  Those are the moments I just archive all my records and start from scratch.

“We like lists because we don’t want to die.” Umberto Eco

List making is a means for survival.  They fuel productivity which validates our existence.  But lists are only as important as the purpose they serve:  to get to work.

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distraction – How to cope with “idea overflow”?

Once an idea comes to you, write it down somewhere and try to forget about it. The idea might seem brilliant at the moment (or at least better than your current task), but it might not seem so good some time later. Give your ideas time to settle, then come back to them and try to assess them again with a fresh look (probably at the beginning of an iteration when you need to plan the next few weeks).

And one more thing that I think could be helpful. Always assume that your new idea is a bad one. Don’t rush to implement it, take your time.

Dump the idea and then reevaluate it, often more than once. Try to mix it in to something else, even if it’s just a nugget.

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10 Paragraphs About Lists You Need in Your Life Right Now

The list—or, more specifically, the listicle—extends a promise of the definitive while necessarily revealing that no such promise could ever be fulfilled. It arises out of a desire to impose order on a life, a culture, a society, a difficult matter, a vast and teeming panorama of cat adorability and nineties nostalgia. Umberto Eco put it dramatically: “The list is the origin of culture. It’s part of the history of art and literature. What does culture want? To make infinity comprehensible. It also wants to create order.”

It’s no surprise that people love digestible lists. They’re easy to consume, literally to the point.

The list format is the main reason this blog entry is one of my more popular posts. Lists are also at the core of Buzzfeed’s content strategy. Call listicles lazy writing/reading but Internet users consume in bite sizes.